Why don’t my SCONES look like yours?

I though today I’d do a short post about some common mistakes that people make when making scones..

A scone should be light and fluffy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside… it needs to hold up to lashings of delicious cream and jam (yum)!

My Mom’s scones in England work perfectly every time, and in my opinion, she makes the best scones, but her recipe fails completely here in the States. It’s taken me a while to perfect something that always works, whatever the flavor I’m making.

You can see in the image above that a scone has a natural break through the center. You will normally only get this in the first batch that you roll out and cut, so try and get as many out of that batch. Once re-rolled scone dough will rise, but not as well as the first roll… You should never need a knife to cut through a scone.

Here are some principles for recipes if it’s not instructed otherwise.

  • It’s full fat (whole) milk if not specified.
  • Use medium eggs if not specified
  • Spoon measurements are level
  • Get some cheap kitchen scales – most recipes will not be in cups – it’s not accurate enough
  • If using a fan over reduce temperature given by 10C (50F)

The number one key to good scones is not overworking them. Whether you make by hand or with a mixer if you over work them they will be heavy and will not rise. A scone mixture will always have some raising agent, don’t work out the magic!!!

Cooking times per oven are always slightly different, so just push down on a scone that looks done and if it is it will feel spring to the touch.

Always line your pan…. ALWAYS

As soon as scones come out of the oven transfer to wire cooling racks… no one likes soggy bottoms.

When stamping out scones push straight down with the cutter. Don’t be tempted to wiggle now, no twisting. If it doesn’t release, transfer to your pan and gently push out through top of cutter. You can prevent sticking by dipping cutter in flour each time.

Plain scone

Don’t roll your dough to thin. Your scones wont rise and you’ll have sad little cookie like dense things that you wont want to share!

Scones taste best the day they are made but freeze well for about a month, or store well in an airtight container for 3-4 days… just give them a few seconds in the microwave to freshen up!

I hope these hints help you in your scone making. A good scone really is nothing like a American biscuit, it’s so much more 🙂

Of course scones are best enjoyed with a cup of tea….

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Head on over to the Tea Store to find something delicious


Cherry, Vanilla Bean & White Chocolate Scones

Cherry is not something I grew up with in my scones, but it is one of my favorite flavors.

You could make these scones with the candied red cherries that you can get at Christmas… I like this brand which I buy on Amazon – Candied Fruit – 1 Lb Tub (Red Cherries).

Here I’ve used a dried cherry, no extra sugar added. The sweetness of the chocolate and vanilla negate the need for the extra sugar.

This is as close to perfect as I’ve found so far, the key is a set of baking scales, because cups are just not accurate enough… I recently purchased this very reasonable set on Amazon, Weighmax Electronic Kitchen Scale 

Baking Scales Amazon Prime

They are only $11 and you can free delivery if you have Amazon Prime.

This recipe calls for Vanilla Bean… it’s become so expensive recently and I’ve taken to using this in both my scone recipes and whipped cream…. yummy! Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste

Get you some!!

Print Recipe
Cherry, Vanilla Bean & White Chocolate Scones
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan assisted)/425F/Gas 7.
  2. Line baking tray with parchment paper
  3. use 1lb of the flour into a large bowl and add the butter. Rub the flour and butter together with your fingers to create a breadcrumb-like mixture.
  4. Add the sugar, eggs and baking powder and use a wooden spoon to turn the mixture gently. Add the chocolate chips and cherries at this point. Make sure you mix all the way down to the bottom and incorporate all of the ingredients.
  5. Now add half of the milk with vanilla mixed in and keep turning the mixture gently with the spoon to combine. Then add the remaining milk a little at a time and bring everything together to form a very soft, wet dough. (You may not need to add all of the milk.)
  6. Sprinkle most of the remaining flour onto a clean work surface. Tip the soft dough out onto the work surface and sprinkle the rest of the flour on top. The mixture will be wet and sticky.
  7. Next roll the dough out: sprinkle flour onto the work surface and the top of the dough, then use the rolling pin to roll up from the middle and then down from the middle. Turn the dough by 90 degrees and continue to roll until it’s about 2.5cm/1in thick. ‘Relax’ the dough slightly by lifting the edges and allowing the dough to drop back onto the work surface.
  8. Using a pastry cutter, stamp out rounds from the pastry and place them onto the baking tray. Dip the edge of the pastry cutter in flour to make it easier to cut out the scones without them sticking. Don’t twist the cutter – just press firmly, then lift it up and push the dough out.
  9. Once you’ve cut 4 or 5 rounds you can re-work and re-roll the dough to make it easier to cut out the remaining rounds. Any leftover dough can be worked and rolled again, but the resulting scones won’t be as fluffy.
  10. Place the scones on the baking tray and leave them to rest for a few minutes to let the baking powder work. Then use a pastry brush (or your finger if you don’t have a brush) to glaze them with the beaten egg and salt mixture. Be careful to keep the glaze on the top of the scones. (If it runs down the sides it will stop them rising evenly.
  11. Bake the scones in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, or until the scones are risen and golden-brown.
  12. Leave the scones to cool, then split in half and add butter, jam and clotted cream to serve.
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Mixed Berry Scones

It’s taken me a long time to perfect my scone recipe since arriving in America. My recipes from England just didn’t work out here… whether it was the Florida humidity or the ingredients, who knows, but these turn out very much like scones from home… yummy!

Scones should be moist on the inside and firm on the outside, just a little brown and I like to add Turbinado sugar on the outside, but you can leave or substitute for regular sugar if you prefer!


Print Recipe
Mixed Berry Scones
Delicious, moist mixed berry scones
Course Scones
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Passive Time 5 mins
Course Scones
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Passive Time 5 mins
  1. Heat Oven to 400F. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together into large bowl
  2. Cut in butter until pea size ( you can use pastry cutter or your cold fingers!)
  3. Add berries
  4. Mix cream and sour cream and then mix in flour mixture... pull together... add little more cream if too dry.. don't over work...
  5. Lightly roll to about 3/4 inch thick and arrange on baking tray covered with parchment, just touching each other.
  6. Mix the egg and milk for an egg wash and brush each scone, sprinkle with sugar if preferred
  7. Cook for 12-15 minutes - you are looking for a golden brown
Recipe Notes

The key to gorgeous scones is not to over work the dough... don't over kneed to bring together, and if you roll out, not too thing else they will not rise.

Enjoy warm with some cherry jam and fresh cream... or else some nice Kerrygold butter!

You can store in a sealed container or in the fridge for a few days, just give them 20 secs to warm through in the microwave.

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